Parenting is an incredible journey full of runny poop, sour spit up on mom's clothes and learning to do absolutely everything one handed.
If you see someone at work who is sending an email with one hand while filling the photocopier with the other, you’re looking at a parent. It is something you do not think about, but you learn to adapt to very quickly. When you have a crying baby you have to keep moving, but you will absolutely burst if you don’t get to the bathroom for a pee right now. I know, it sounds disgusting. Who in their right mind would take their small baby into the toilet with them? How unhygienic. But just you wait.
If you are expecting a baby sit back, relax and take a look at some of the skills you are going to have to master in the coming year or so. Don’t think it won’t happen to you either because it will.
If you already have a child, read on and feel better knowing that you are not the only one who has automatically tried to break up your other half's food with a fork while eating your own food with your fingers.
15Chopping Veggies Not Fingers
At first, this seems like no big deal. How hard can it be to cut up a few veggies one handed right? Well the answer, smarty pants, is very. Next time you are in the kitchen grab yourself a carrot from the fridge, a chopping board, and a knife and let's see you julienne that sucker with one hand behind your back.
Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not so full of yourself now are you?
So when you go to dinner with your only friend who has a baby, do not look down on those ragged, unevenly chopped vegetables on your plate. Be thankful that you have any veggies at all, that they are not covered in drops of your host's blood and that no fingers were lost in the making of your dinner.
14No, You Wouldn’t Love To Work At Home
Any mom who has an additional job at home on top of all the momming knows how annoying the comment “It must be so easy to work at home” is.
Working at home with a baby in tow is no easy achievement and learning to type, design, email, research or whatever else it is you do one handed is no easy thing.
Spend your morning trying to open up your laptop with one hand then moving your cursor to the right spot with a wriggling baby crying on your hip. Write 5,000 words about home security, with just the fingers of your left hand and then get on a video call while not putting your baby down for a second. Now tell a work at home mom how easy it must be for them.
13Eating Before It's Ice Cold
Now, admittedly on some occasions, this is no mean feat. We can all cram a sandwich or a sub in our faces without the use of both hands and for many of us accomplished eaters a burger, fries and an apple pie to round off could all be confidently consumed with just the one appendage.
Moms eating one handed is not the same thing at all. Moms eating one handed consists of consuming an entire meal while sitting at the table side-on with a baby always bouncing on your knee.
This particular skill also requires you to be able to chop up any item of food with just your fork and to convey that piece from the plate to your mouth without losing a single morsel. Extra points are awarded if you can manage this while eating soup.
12Putting Your Face On
The real reason a considerable number of moms stop wearing the amount of make-up they may have worn before the baby is that it is virtually impossible to get your eyeliner done with a squirming four-month-old baby balanced on your hip, trying to pull up your top and get at your boob.
Even without the “I think I’ll help myself to breakfast thank you very much” complication the application of lipstick with a tiny little hand grasping at the tube is no fun at all.
Have you ever seen the episode of the Simpsons where Homer invents the make-up gun and blasts Marge in the face with it? That is what you can look like when applying just a bit of lippy with your mini me helping you out.
11I Think I’m Going To Throw Up
Babies do not care how you are feeling. They do not offer you a sick day with your feet up on the sofa and a bottle of gravol and a straw while they spend the day quietly snoozing in their crib. No, these slippery little food processors demand feeding, burping, changing and rocking each and every day, so there is no chance of you being allowed to be sick.
This is where the experienced moms will tell you; you’re gonna need a bucket. It is almost impossible to kneel on the bathroom floor with your head over the toilet bowl emptying the contents of your stomach while holding a crying baby.
The correct technique is to sit on the bathroom floor, with a bucket to one side. Then you can hold your baby to one side and lean over to the other while your body rejects everything you have ever eaten.
10Dishwashers Don’t Empty Themselves
If anyone asks which piece of equipment you need for your baby, don’t say a stroller or a crib, say a dishwasher. You can carry your kid around, and it can sleep in a cardboard box, but there is nothing that can replace something as wonderful as a dishwasher when you have a baby.
There are, however a few things to remember. Like it doesn’t matter how good your dishwasher is, if you don’t remember to put the dishes in and switch it on, it is not much use to you. Or that the dishwasher doesn’t empty itself and you have to learn to bend, twist and lift in the most extraordinary ways to empty it out and have a clean plate to eat off of once in awhile.
9Ninja Jar Skills
Jars are one of the things that taunt you when you are making your way through your day with one of your kiddos firmly attached to your hip. Do not think that one of those handy dandy jar opening contraptions for the olds will help you either; you still need two hands for most of them. There are two techniques to this; you can either:
Try to hold the jar in the hand of the arm you are clutching your baby in and try to reach around and twist the lid off. This will result in you popping open the jar when you least expect it and throwing the contents on the floor. Or;
Wedge the jar firmly between your knees and attempt to twist the lid off. This will result in a number or red marks on your hands and a baby who gets progressively more cranky as they are tipped upside down.
8Behold I Am The Diaper Wrangler
This one only really applies when you have lost your mind and have two (or more) in diapers at the same time. It is possible to change a diaper with one hand, but it really does depend on the cooperation of both children for this to be successful.
If the baby you are holding decides to get grizzly then you are out of luck because you’ll need to move too much to successfully change the diaper. Even worse, if the child in the diaper decides to get his wriggle on, you are better off sticking a pair of pants over the top of the diaper to catch any fallout and try again in a few minutes.
Oh and you can guarantee the wipe sticking out of the box will fall back into it and you will have to struggle to get a wipe one handed. Because on this day the world hates you.
7I Feel The Need, The Need To Pee
With a fussy baby, you are forced to try and do the dance the best you can one handed. This is the reason so many moms wear gym gear and yoga pants. The pulling your clothes down one handed isn’t too bad once you get the knack but pulling them back up again requires some practice.
The skill is in bending at the knee and wriggling one side of your underwear up at the same time as pulling up a handful of pants. This prevents you having to bend down and pull up twice. Then you have to work your way around your waistband jumping slightly to get your pants up properly.
Once you have honed this important skill, you are golden, but until then you will spend many days wriggling uncomfortably as you try to extract your underwear from places it was never designed to hide in.
6A Made Bed Can Be Overrated
We have all searched YouTube and carefully followed those videos of how to easily get your quilt cover on without ending up inside it and falling over like a drunken floral ghost. We also all know it is impossible to do and we are all destined to struggle our duvets into the covers from here until eternity.
Now imagine trying to straighten up your bed with a crying baby in your arms. The first time you try, you will religiously work your way around the bed, back and forth trying to get it straight and even.
By the time you have done this a few times, you will be expert at dropping the pillow on one corner of the quilt to keep it in place and pulling the rest into place with one swift tug.
5Getting The Stroller Out Of The Trunk And Unfolding It
Logically you might think that you can leave your baby in the car seat, take the stroller out of the trunk, unfold it and go back for your child. In an ideal world, this would be possible all of the time. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and this rarely ever happens.
Sometimes you are parked on a slope, and there is no way of leaving the stroller on it’s own while you go to get its passenger. Most of the time you are just so frazzled by the 57 things you are trying to think of at once you take the baby out of the car seat, walk around the back and then think “oh Sh*t” when you realise you can’t put the baby back in the car seat or they’ll scream the place down.
4Yeah, Like I Have Time To Bake
One of the last things on your mind in the first few days and weeks with your baby is cooking anything that isn’t basic. It often feels like you’ll never have time to do anything more than grab a couple of handfuls of nuts to eat, let alone prepare, cook, serve and eat a proper meal - and freshly baked goods are a fond memory.
The time will come though when you are back to using the oven, and this is where some of those specialist one handed parent moves come in.
I do have to point out at his point that it is in fact very dangerous to try and take something hot out of the oven one handed while either holding a child with the other arm or trying to hold a child back. This should never be attempted but all of those parents that can - they rock.
3Make A Cup Of Coffee
One of the ways to get you through the day with a baby is to stoke yourself up with unhealthy amounts of caffeine. This will keep you awake and ensure you feel jittery for the entire day and cannot nod off when your child does finally sleep.
If you have one of those fancy-schmancy one cup brewer thingies, then this isn’t so hard. If like many of us you still rely on scoops, filters, and jugs of water you’ll need a bit of practice to do this one handed.
Your baby will inevitably reach for the coffee, the filters, the water and anything else within a five feet radius while you try and measure out your granules. If you are lucky, you will brew a decent jug of coffee. Otherwise, you will get used to the taste of light brown water or coffee so strong it’ll strip paint.
2Everyone Expects Clean Clothes
Just because the rest of the family have to leave the house and mingle with the rest of the world, they expect to be able to do so in clean clothes. Not only that, they seem to believe that because you are home all day doing nothing that the laundry is your job.
On top of this, you have a new baby who can mysteriously make it’s way through seven sets of clothes in a single day without going anywhere or doing anything.
This is when you learn to balance the laundry liquid measuring cup in just the right spot for you to pour without spilling and still see the measuring line. You will be able to extract underwear from pants with a deft flick of the wrist and flip stuff from the washer to the dryer with speed and ease using only one hand. The trick is to leave something red in, turn everything pink and be relieved of laundry duty. You’re welcome.
1Dress Another Human Being
When you can dress one child one handed while keeping the baby happy on your hip, you level-up to one hand skill expert. This is perhaps the trickiest of all parental on handed tasks because...socks.
It is relatively easy to dump a tee shirt on your kids head, pull it down and force their wriggling arms through with just the one hand but it is another thing entirely to get a pair of socks on someone else's feet with just the use of one hand.
Try it. Putting your own socks on one-handed is tricky but achievable but getting the foot prisons on an uncooperative toddler who splays their toes while you hang onto your family's newest addition is a task for only the most seasoned one handers.
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